Hungry harbor seal makes a surprise appearance at the Charles River Dam

A harbor seal made an appearance Monday, April 11 at the Charles River Dam in Boston.
A harbor seal made an appearance Monday, April 11 at the Charles River Dam in Boston. –MassDCR via Twitter

Land-based bystanders at the Charles River Dam were greeted Monday with a surprise visit from a flippered friend.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which reached out to the New England Aquarium, the surprise guest was a harbor seal.

And the reason for its visit? He (or she) was probably hungry!

Aquarium spokesman Tony LaCasse told The Boston Globe that the seal was likely attracted by fish migrating toward the Charles River side of the dam’s entrance.

“There’s easy freshwater pickings on the other side of the dam,” LaCasse told the Globe, if the seal can figure out how to get there.


“There are a lot of one-pound-plus fish that are the biggest fish in the river,” he said. “When you get to that side, it’s literally, for him, like shooting fish in a barrel.”

This was apparently not the first time the seal was spotted in the Charles River.

Since the beginning of the month, what is believed to be the same seal, according to the Globe, has been spotted by onlookers from the Museum of Science all the way to the Boston University Bridge and MIT.

Last Tuesday, Boston magazine posted video of a seal splashing around at docks near the Museum of Science.

The BU women’s rowing team also tweeted a short slip of what they said was the seal Monday afternoon.

But apparently by Monday the seal had gotten its fill of Charles River fish. Around 2 p.m., MassDCR officials opened up the Boston Harbor side of the dam to let the seal continue out to the ocean.


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